[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 236 (Friday, December 7, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 72915-72917]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-28503]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Office of the Secretary

15 CFR Part 6

[Docket No. 121022566-2566-01]
RIN 0605-AA31


Civil Monetary Penalties; Adjustment for Inflation

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Commerce.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule is being issued to adjust each civil monetary 
penalty provided by law within the jurisdiction of the Department of 
Commerce (the Department). The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation 
Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement 
Act of 1996, required the head of each agency to adjust its civil 
monetary penalties (CMP) for inflation no later than October 23, 1996, 
and requires agencies to make adjustments at least once every four 
years thereafter. These inflation adjustments will apply only to 
violations that occur after the effective date of this rule.

DATES: This rule is effective December 7, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Office of General Counsel, Department of Commerce, 1401 
Constitution Avenue NW., MS 5876, Washington, DC 20230.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Robbins; (202) 482-0846.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation 
Adjustment Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-410) provided for the regular 
evaluation of CMPs to ensure that they continue to maintain their 
deterrent value and that penalty amounts due to the Federal Government 
are properly accounted for and collected. On April 26, 1996, the 
Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 was amended by 
the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-134) to 
require each agency to issue regulations to adjust its CMPs for 
inflation at least every four years. The amendment further provided 
that any resulting increases in a CMP due to the inflation adjustment 
should apply only to the violations that occur subsequent to the date 
of the publication in the Federal Register of the increased amount of 
the CMP. The first inflation adjustment of any penalty shall not exceed 
ten percent of such penalty.
    On October 24, 1996, November 1, 2000, December 14, 2004, and 
December 11, 2008, the Department published in the Federal Register a 
schedule of CMPs adjusted for inflation as required by law. By this 
publication, CMPs are again being adjusted for inflation as prescribed 
by law.
    A civil monetary penalty is defined as any penalty, fine, or other 
sanction that:
    1. Is for a specific monetary amount as provided by Federal law, or 
has a maximum amount provided for by Federal law; and,
    2. Is assessed or enforced by an agency pursuant to Federal law; 
and,
    3. Is assessed or enforced pursuant to an administrative proceeding 
or a civil action in the Federal courts.
    This regulation adjusts the CMPs that are established by law and 
assessed or enforced by the Department.
    The actual penalty assessed for a particular violation is dependent 
upon a variety of factors. For example, the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Policy for the Assessment of Civil 
Administrative Penalties and Permit Sanctions (Penalty Policy), a 
compilation of internal guidelines that are used when assessing 
penalties for violations for most of the statutes NOAA enforces, will 
be interpreted in a manner consistent with this regulation to maintain 
the deterrent effect of the penalties recommended therein. The penalty 
ranges in the Penalty Policy are intended to aid enforcement attorneys 
in determining the appropriate penalty to assess for a particular 
violation. The Penalty Policy is maintained and made available to the 
public on the NOAA Office of the General Counsel, Enforcement Section 
Web site at: http://www.gc.noaa.gov/documents/031611_penalty_policy.pdf.
    The inflation adjustments were determined pursuant to the 
methodology prescribed by Public Law 101-410, which requires the 
maximum CMP, or the minimum and maximum CMP, as applicable, to be 
increased by the cost-of-living adjustment. The term ``cost-of-living 
adjustment'' was defined in Public Law 104-134 to mean the percentage 
for each CMP by which the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June of the 
calendar year preceding the adjustment exceeds the CPI for the

[[Page 72916]]

month of June of the calendar year in which the amount of such CMP was 
last set or adjusted pursuant to law. For the purpose of computing the 
inflation adjustments, the CPI for June of the calendar year preceding 
the adjustment means the CPI for June of 2011.
    Public Law 101-410 requires each rounded increase to be added to 
the minimum or maximum penalty amount being adjusted, and the total is 
the amount of such penalty, as adjusted, subject to the ten percent 
limitation provided by Public Law 104-134 for the first adjustment.

Rulemaking Requirements

    It has been determined that this rule is not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Department for good cause finds that notice and opportunity for 
comment is unnecessary for this rulemaking pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B). It is unnecessary to ask for notice and comment because 
Public Law 104-134 requires the head of each agency to adjust its civil 
monetary penalties no later than October 23, 1996, and at least every 
four years thereafter, and Public Law 101-410, as amended by Public Law 
104-134, states how to calculate the inflation adjustments, making such 
adjustments wholly non-discretionary. This rule merely adjusts the 
Department's CMP according to the statutory requirements. For the same 
reasons, there exists good cause to waive the thirty day delay in 
effectiveness of the rule, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).
    Because notice and opportunity for comment are not required by 5 
U.S.C. 553, or any other law, a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not 
required and none was prepared. This rule does not contain information 
collection requirements for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

List of Subjects 15 CFR Part 6

    Law enforcement, Penalties.

    Dated: November 16, 2012.
Lisa Casias,
Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Director for Financial Management.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, subtitle A of Title 15 
of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 6--CIVIL MONETARY PENALTY INFLATION ADJUSTMENTS

0
1. The authority citation for part 6 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Sec. 4, as amended, and sec. 5, Pub. L. 101-410, 104 
Stat. 890 (28 U.S.C. 2461 note); Pub. L. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321, 28 
U.S.C. 2461 note.


0
2. Section 6.4 is revised as follows:


Sec.  6.4  Adjustments to penalties.

    The civil monetary penalties provided by law within the 
jurisdiction of the respective agencies or bureaus of the Department, 
as set forth below in this section, are hereby adjusted in accordance 
with the inflation adjustment procedures prescribed in Section 5, Pub. 
L. 101-410, from the amounts of such penalties in effect prior to 
December 7, 2012, to the amounts of such penalties, as thus adjusted, 
except for the penalties that are being adjusted for the first time, 
stated in paragraphs, (a)(1), which became effective on October 21, 
1986; (a)(2), which became effective on March 2, 1863; (b)(5), which 
became effective on December 18, 2006; and (f)(1) and (f)(2), which 
became effective on December 18, 2010.
    (a) Department of Commerce. (1) 31 U.S.C. 3802(a)(1)(D), Program 
Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986, from $5,000 to $5,500.
    (2) 31 U.S.C. 3729(a)(1)(G), False Claims Act; minimum from $5,000 
to $5,500; maximum from $10,000 to $11,000.
    (b) Bureau of Industry and Security. (1) 15 U.S.C. 5408(b)(1), 
Fastener Quality Act--Violation, from $32,500 to $32,500.
    (2) 22 U.S.C. 6761(a)(1)(A), Chemical Weapons Convention 
Implementation Act--Inspection Violation, from $25,000 to $25,000.
    (3) 22 U.S.C. 6761(a)(l)(B), Chemical Weapons Convention 
Implementation Act--Record Keeping Violation, from $5,000 to $5,000.
    (4) 50 U.S.C. 1705(a), International Emergency Economic Powers Act 
(2007)--Violation, from $250,000 to $250,000.
    (5) 22 U.S.C. 8142(a), United States Additional Protocol 
Implementation Act (2006)-- Violation, from $25,000 to $27,500.
    (c) Bureau of the Census. (1) 13 U.S.C. 304, Collection of Foreign 
Trade Statistics--Delinquency on Delayed Filing of Export 
Documentation; maximum penalty for each day's delinquency, from $1,000 
to $1,000; maximum per violation, from $10,000 to $10,000.
    (2) 13 U.S.C. 305(b), Collection of Foreign Trade Statistics--
Violations, from $10,000 to $10,000.
    (d) Economics and Statistics Administration. 22 U.S.C. 3105(a), 
International Investment and Trade in Services Act--Failure to Furnish 
Information; minimum, from $2,500 to $2,500; maximum, from $32,500 to 
$32,500.
    (e) International Trade Administration. (1) 19 U.S.C. 81s, Foreign 
Trade Zone--Violation, from $1,100 to $1,100.
    (2) 19 U.S.C. 1677f(f)(4), U.S.-Canada FTA Protective Order--
Violation, from $130,000 to $130,000.
    (f) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (1) 51 U.S.C. 
60123(a)(3), Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 2010; new penalty 
$10,000.
    (2) 51 U.S.C. 60148(c), Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 2010, new 
penalty $10,000.
    (3) 16 U.S.C. 773f(a), Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (2007), 
from $200,000 to $200,000.
    (4) 16 U.S.C. 783, Sponge Act (1914), from $650 to $650.
    (5) 16 U.S.C. 957, Tuna Conventions Act of 1950 (1962);
    (i) Violation/Subsection (a), from $32,500 to $32,500.
    (ii) Subsequent Violation/Subsection (a), from $70,000 to $70,000.
    (iii) Violation/Subsection (b), from $1,100 to $1,100.
    (iv) Subsequent Violation/Subsection (b), from $6,500 to $6,500.
    (v) Violation/Subsection (c), from $140,000 to $140,000.
    (6) 16 U.S.C. 971e(e), Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975 
(1995), from $140,000 to $140,000.
    (7) 16 U.S.C. 972f(b), Eastern Pacific Tuna Licensing Act of 1984;
    (i) Violation/Subsections (a)(1)-(3), from $32,500 to $32,500.
    (ii) Subsequent Violation/Subsections (a)(1)-(3), from $65,000 to 
$65,000.
    (iii) Violation/Subsections (a)(4)-(5), from $6,500 to $6,500.
    (iv) Subsequent Violation/Subsections (a)(4)-(5), from $6,500 to 
$6,500.
    (v) Violation/Subsection (a)(6), from $140,000 to $140,000.
    (8) 16 U.S.C. 973f(a), South Pacific Tuna Act of 1988, from 
$350,000 to $350,000.
    (9) 16 U.S.C. 1174(b), Fur Seal Act Amendments of 1983, from 
$11,000 to $11,000.
    (10) 16 U.S.C. 1375(a) (1), Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 
(1981), from $11,000 to $11,000.
    (11) 16 U.S.C. 1385(e), Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act 
(1990), from $130,000 to $130,000.
    (12) 16 U.S.C. 1437(d)(1), National Marine Sanctuaries Act (1992), 
from $140,000 to $140,000.
    (13) 16 U.S.C. 1540(a)(1), Endangered Species Act of 1973;
    (i) Knowing Violation of Section 1538 (1988), from $32,500 to 
$32,500.
    (ii) Other Knowing Violation (1988), from $13,200 to $13,200.

[[Page 72917]]

    (iii) Otherwise Violation (1978), from $650 to $650.
    (14) 16 U.S.C. 1858(a), Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (1990), from $140,000 to $140,000.
    (15) 16 U.S.C. 2437(a)(1), Antarctic Marine Living Resources 
Convention Act of 1984;
    (i) Violation, from $6,500 to $6,500.
    (ii) Knowing Violation, from $11,000 to $11,000.
    (16) 16 U.S.C. 2465(a), Antarctic Protection Act of 1990;
    (i) Violation, from $6,500 to $6,500.
    (ii) Knowing Violation, from $11,000 to $11,000.
    (17) 16 U.S.C. 3373(a), Lacey Act Amendments of 1981;
    (i) Sale and Purchase Violation, from $11,000 to $11,000.
    (ii) Marking Violation, from $275 to $275.
    (iii) False Labeling Violation, from $11,000 to $11,000.
    (iv) Other than Marking Violation, from $11,000 to $11,000.
    (18) 16 U.S.C. 3606(b)(1), Atlantic Salmon Convention Act of 1982 
(1990), from $140,000 to $140,000.
    (19) 16 U.S.C. 3637(b), Pacific Salmon Treaty Act of 1985 (1990), 
from $140,000 to $140,000.
    (20) 16 U.S.C. 4016(b)(1)(B), Fish and Seafood Promotion Act of 
1986; minimum from $500 to $500; maximum from $6,500 to $6,500.
    (21) 16 U.S.C. 5010(a)(1), North Pacific Anadromous Stocks Act of 
1992, from $130,000 to $130,000.
    (22) 16 U.S.C. 5103(b)(2), Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative 
Management Act (1993), from $140,000 to $140,000.
    (23) 16 U.S.C. 5154(c)(1), Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act 
(1990), from $140,000 to $140,000.
    (24) 16 U.S.C. 5507(a)(1), High Seas Fishing Compliance Act of 
1995, from $130,000 to $130,000.
    (25) 16 U.S.C. 5606(b), Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Convention Act 
of 1995, from $140,000 to $140,000.
    (26) 16 U.S.C. 6905(c), Western and Central Pacific Fisheries 
Convention Implementation Act (2007), from $140,000 to $140,000.
    (27) 16 U.S.C. 7009(c), Pacific Whiting Act of 2006 (2007); from 
$140,000 to $140,000.
    (28) 22 U.S.C. 1978(e), Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967 (1971);
    (i) Violation, from $11,000 to $11,000.
    (ii) Subsequent Violation, from $32,500 to $32,500.
    (29) 30 U.S.C. 1462(a), Deep Seabed Hard Mineral Resources Act 
(1980), from $32,500 to $32,500.
    (30) 42 U.S.C. 9152(c)(1), Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Act of 
1980, from $32,500 to $32,500.

0
3. Section 6.5 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  6.5  Effective Date of Adjustments.

    The adjustments made by Sec.  6.4 of this part, of the penalties 
there specified, are effective on December 7, 2012, and said penalties, 
as thus adjusted by the adjustments made by Sec.  6.4 of this part, 
shall apply only to violations occurring after December 7, 2012, and 
before the effective date of any future inflation adjustment thereto 
made subsequent to December 7, 2012 as provided in Sec.  6.6 of this 
part.

[FR Doc. 2012-28503 Filed 12-6-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DP-P